Laird Cottage, built in 1870, is the headquarters of the Marengo County Historical Society and the Geneva Mercer Museum. Dr. Walter Marcellus Laird and Dora Mercer bought the property in 1914, and after Laird’s death in 1918, Dora became a respected figure in the community. The Mercer family also included Geneva Mercer, a prominent sculptor. The cottage was bequeathed to the historical society by Elizabeth Laird, and it serves as a museum to honor the legacy of Geneva Mercer.
Laird Cottage in Demopolis, Alabama was purchased in 1914 by Dr. Walter Marcellus Laird and his wife Dora Mercer. Dr. Laird died in 1918 and Dora remained in the home with their three children. Walter Mercer Laird, their son, served in World War II and died in 1960. Dorothy, their daughter, lived in Washington, D.C., returned home, and died in 1989. Elizabeth Laird, the youngest child, was a career woman and athlete. She bequeathed the home to the Marengo County Historical Society when she died in 1993.
Laird Cottage is now the headquarters for the society and home to the Geneva Mercer Museum. Geneva Mercer, Dora’s sister, was a renowned sculptor who studied with Giuseppe Moretti. Mercer worked on many public buildings in Alabama and was commissioned to create works for prominent families, organizations, corporations, and agencies across America. She returned to Demopolis in her later years, living next to Laird Cottage and creating art until her death in 1984.